Paul Cox’s Lions return to Nethermoor on Saturday after nearly a month on the road in the Vanarama National League, Emirates FA Cup, Buildbase FA Trophy and West Riding County Cup.
Aldershot Town are the opponents to mark the midpoint of the 17-18 league campaign with kick-off at 3pm for the final home game of the year. Last time out in the league we slumped to a 4-0 defeat at Ebbsfleet but there were positive signs of improvement in Wednesday night’s last gasp 2-1 defeat at Gateshead in the Buildbase FA Trophy.
A number of first team players also featured at Tadcaster in the West Riding County Cup with both Will Wells and Frank Mulhern making a return from their respective loan spells. Also suspended duo Darren Holden and Chris M’Boungou played the full 90 minutes alongside new signing Liam Hughes who has not featured since the Emirates FA Cup exit at Mansfield Town.
The Shots have had a mixed run since our meeting in August where they romped to a 6-0 victory. Last time out they were beaten 4-0 by East Thurrock United in the Buildbase FA Trophy and lost 1-0 at The Shay Stadium just two weeks ago.
Town currently sit sixth in the table just four points off top spot and picked up four league wins out of four in November.
Paul Cox revealed post match on Wednesday that extra time was not what he wanted “Extra time was the one thing we did not want, the performance levels were excellent but there was some tired legs out there. There are loads of positives to take, I thought the two new lads were excellent (Adam Crookes and James Roberts who both made their debuts at Gateshead).”
However on-loan striker Liburd was taken off midway through the second half “We had to take Rowan off as his hamstring tightened up, overall it was an excellent performance which was getting us back to the pre-FA Cup games.”
Overall though Cox was pleased with his side “We have come to a hard place to come on a cold and wet Wednesday night and we have done extremely well, we have to stop the two sloppy goals we conceded and be more ruthless in the final third. We had enough chances and shots on goal to win two or three games.”
Ahead of the match Paul and the players had worked on a new system in training “We have changed the shape, we played with three out and out centre backs and two wing backs. We bought James Roberts in to do that role I am excited by the lad, when he is 100% fit he will score goals and will be a constant threat to the opposition.”
“It was probably a bit of a gamble tonight or we treated a bit as we were looking at a new system, the shape looked good.”
Looking ahead to Saturday and the second half of the season the boss said “With the performances now we have to is put the results in there, that performance was probably as good a performance since I have been here but we have lost the game with the last kick in extra time.”
“We have got to look at the positives tonight, the way we played and taking that now into the next game. Make sure we prepare right and the lads are rested up and there are no hangovers from the physicality of tonight.”
Tickets are available to buy online or at the turnstiles.
The Club Shop will be open at Nethermoor on Friday between 11am and 6pm and from 11am until after the game on Saturday for those last minute Christmas Presents. You can also order online and collect from the Club Shop on Saturday, Pendle products are subject to stock.